The Power of Dreams

man smiling
11/13/20

Recent graduate Taylor Tadlock, homeless just a few years ago, shared his Minneapolis College experience during the recent Power of Dreams virtual event celebrating scholarship recipients and their donors.

Taylor related how scholarships and the Random Acts of Kindness program assisted him in realizing a career path in the Minneapolis College Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) program.

“I am so grateful for all of the love and support I received while attending Minneapolis College,” Taylor said. “I am so grateful to receive help—I really needed it. When I was in seventh grade, I was in a homeless shelter with my family. Now I am the first person in my family to go to college. Scholarships and Random Acts of Kindness gave me money to pay for tuition, food and clothing while I was in school.”

Memory of his homeless experience is still fresh in his mind. “I love the diversity of Minneapolis College,” he said. “l loved going to college in downtown Minneapolis, not far from the homeless shelter. I have been out of school one year now and I’m in my own apartment, taking care of business. I pay my own rent and have a full-time job. I’m in the union and have 5 more years of one-the-job schooling to complete.”

Power of Giving
Power of Dreams is part of a larger quarterly virtual series, Power of Giving, which celebrates the impact of philanthropy at Minneapolis College and in the community. The next event, Upholding Beloved Community, will take place on Thursday, January 21. The event will feature student voices and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

According to Minneapolis College President Sharon Pierce, the Power of Giving focuses on 2 priorities, eliminating the equity gap and providing educational outcomes, and improving student outcomes for retention and graduation.

“Support for Minneapolis College truly does transform lives,” Pierce said. “These are times of great change, especially for so many of our students who come from underrepresented communities. Because of scholarships, Random Acts of Kindness funds and our comprehensive student supports services, Minneapolis College’s holistic approach empowers our students to persist, graduate and plan livable wage jobs or transfer to a university to continue their studies.

"For many of our students, this is the first time in their lives that they have been able to see an achievable pathway to a different way of life—one that elevates them out of poverty to positions in the community where they can contribute to the region’s workforce, their neighborhood and the greater good.”

Beverly Wadsworth, Minneapolis College Director of Advancement, said many Minneapolis College students, “overcome incredible odds to pursue their dream of an education and a livable wage. Our students have big dreams. We believe everyone has a right to a better life no matter their race, gender, family economic beginnings or other circumstances. It all starts with equitable access to high-quality education.”

Minneapolis College Foundation
Minneapolis College is among the most affordable colleges in Minnesota. Even so, the costs and barriers of attending can be challenging for students.

The Minneapolis College Foundation was created more than 40 years ago with a mission of providing financial assistance and educational support to students in need who attend the College.

The Foundation has been a leader in addressing issues of affordability and access to higher education and has assisted the College and its partners to raise the visibility of these issues to public policy leaders. Minneapolis College Foundation provides invaluable assistance to the community through a variety of special initiatives that support students, enhance the readiness of our workforce and help the College in its strategic needs.

This Fall, 200 students received more than \$400,000 in scholarships to attend Minneapolis College. The average scholarship award is more than \$2,000 per semester, just under half of the total cost of tuition and fees for one year.

“The scholarship allowed me to purchase my textbooks and it pretty much covered tuition for both semesters this year,” said Information Technology student Christian Gisala. “These last 2 semesters would have been immensely more difficult without the help of a scholarship.”

Meriem LeClair, who received a Liberal Arts associate degree said, “The Minneapolis College Foundation and their donors built a bridge between me and what I wished for—an education. “

Giving back
Taylor Tadlock, having moved from being a homeless youth to Minneapolis College alumnus, plans to give back to the College and the community. “I have decided to see where life will take me now to show love and support,” he said. “I hope, one day in my career, to be able to give scholarships to some kids. That’s where it all starts.”

To make a year-end gift to the College, go to minneapolis.edu/give.